You can still give to support training in nonviolent direct action and a BPF gathering! Donations of $30 or more receive The System Stinks curriculum for Buddhist activists in 2014: http://www.buddhistpeacefellowship.org/join-bpf...
UPDATE 10/30: WE DID IT! So grateful to everyone who gave & spread the word. YOU CAN STILL GIVE until midnight PDT tonight - anything extra we raise will go to additional expenses for the gathering and a bit more loving coordination of the curriculum. THANK YOU!
UPDATE 10/29: Will you help us rekindle a multi-generational movement for peace & justice? All donations, small and large, are welcome!
Love from our backers (we love you too!):
I love this group, love what they stand for and how they work. Connecting our activism with our spiritual life, whether you're Buddhist or not, is so critical these days, and always. Thanks, BPF! — Regan
BPF is awesome. Smart and compassionate people. Support them. — Sydney
UPDATE 10/14: Double Your Dollars Continues! When you donate now, your gift will be doubled by a generous matching donation. Help us reach the 50% mark to kick in the remaining $5,000 gift! UPDATE: Yay! We've made our matching grant a reality!
UPDATE 10/11: Joanna Macy—beloved eco-activist, author, and sharer of dharma—has offered her help to our campaign!
Now when you give at the $300 level, you can join a private BPF phone call with the visionary leader of Work That Reconnects. See the perks list for details!
Thank you, Joanna, for supporting the radical rebirth of BPF!
A Radical Rebirth of Buddhist Peace Fellowship
As commodified forms of "McMindfulness"* threaten to swallow and sanitize the dharma we hold dear, we envision something different.
- A mindfulness practice that seeks liberation for all beings, not just training for more focused and efficient CEO’s.
- Compassionate confrontation to challenge institutionalized greed, hatred, and delusion.
- Inspiring alternatives that highlight Buddhist principles of generosity, loving kindness, and efforts at wise understanding.
The world is hurting. We are hurting.
War, imperialism, sexism, racism, ableism, and exploitation immiserate too many people on the planet. Our interdependent reality includes horrors like the Bangladesh factory collapse, the murder of Trayvon Martin, sex trafficking of children, solitary confinement, nuclear disaster in Fukushima, and terroristic business-as-usual from Monsanto.
How are we to face such devastation?
As scholar and activist Harsha Walia reminded us on a BPF phone call this year, we need community.
Who is BPF?
Hi, we're the Buddhist Peace Fellowship! We've been around for a while — 35 years! — connecting dharma with social justice, and social justice with dharma. From Turning Wheel magazine (now online!) to our hands-on training programs, we have long offered a place to bring Buddhist teachings into conversation with the larger world.
Katie Loncke & Dawn Haney are grateful to walk a political and spiritual path as Co-Directors of BPF. We love connecting 5000+ political Buddhists to each other, and to powerful tools that help us all transform the world — and ourselves.
Rejoicing In Finding One Another
Zen water bottles. Karma beauty creams. Despite being surrounded by Buddha-fied marketing language, it can feel lonely out there as Buddhists. Even in our own sanghas, sometimes we might feel like oddballs, walking on eggshells to avoid “disturbing the peace” with our burning questions about war, police violence, sexism, and oppression.
So it’s important to find each other. To connect. And when we do, what a feeling!
And as we continue to find each other, our visions of what engaged Buddhists can do together are starting to take shape and expand.
- Solidarity with Indigenous-led Fights against Tar Sands. From a successful fundraiser of Buddhists supporting the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, to aneeta mitha’s front-line photographic accounts from Alberta, we've directed our spotlight toward the courageous resistance to tar sands devastation and the Keystone XL Pipeline.
- Sharp Political Analysis that’s Spiritually-Informed. Turning Wheel Media has hosted some wicked smart discussions as insightful readers respond to thoughtful offerings by contributors. We’ve explored our varied understandings of complex topics, from Buddhist anarchism to Orientalism.
- Creative Interventions in Corporate Culture. When Zen teacher David Loy sends a letter to a mindfulness advocate on the board of Goldman Sachs, it broadcasts a wider reminder that Buddhism is about ethics. When eco-justice ralliers vow to “Marry the Movement” of climate change resistance, staging street theater in oil-stained wedding dresses outside a Chevron refinery, we re-imagine what Buddhists can look like in nonviolent direct action.
We planted a seed for social transformation with our first year of The System Stinks, our provocative curriculum that squarely faced the systems that shape us — like the matrix of lies that build empire, and the institutionalized theft of land, culture, and time.
There are many paradoxes and unknowns about what makes this world a better place. I embrace “the system stinks” as a call to wake up and to stop sugar coating the realities of just how heartless, oppressive, institutionally pervasive, and culturally embedded corporate ideology and action is.
Andrew Bein, Sacramento, CA
As we hoped, studying together has primed us. Now folks are inspired to participate in direct action — grounded in heartfelt spirituality and nitty-gritty pragmatism.
We need your help to go from study to action!
Now that The System Stinks 2013 has flinted a spark, you can help us build and tend the steady fire that can sustain us in our spiritual social justice movements.
BPF Gathering in Summer 2014!
Imagine: a warm, welcoming, challenging, and learning-filled stretch of days next summer, rubbing elbows and sharing stories with fellow bodhisattvas going for broke in the social justice realm. With your help, we can invite some of our trusted dhamma teachers and emergent Buddhist leaders who want and need collective support to blossom their valuable engaged work.
We have lots of great ideas about how to jump-start our organizing as Buddhists dedicated to social justice! Now we need some practical skills to be able to implement them. Practical skills like:
designing gorgeous flyers
scaling lampposts for banner drops
locking down in successful nonviolent blockades
We would also love tools for building up democracy in our organizations, so our movements can benefit from everyone's wisdom, not just the “tyranny of the articulate.”
We’ll use $3,000 to cover the initial, up-front costs of hosting a gathering, and $3,000 for expert instruction and workshops at the gathering. We want to arm ourselves with the best nonviolent weapons available.
The System Stinks 2014:
Growing Our Spiritual-Social-Justice Solidarity
Nothing compares to meeting face to face, but in the meantime, we’re honored to welcome more and more fabulous engaged-Buddhist voices to keep the flame alight in our online home. Our readership has more than quadrupled over the past year (!!!), and we’re just getting started.
Steady attention & loving coordination: A second year of our Buddhist-activist curriculum, The System Stinks, requires steady attention and ongoing coordination of the vast network of people contributing to this project: writers, teachers, donors, speakers, editors, tech support, and participants.
We'll use $19,000 for Katie and Dawn to each dedicate 8 hours per week to help keep the ship sailing. Katie brings her amazing skills as an online media editor and community organizer who will help ensure content on Turning Wheel Media is brilliant, thoughtful, inspiring, and action-oriented. Dawn brings her expertise as a teacher, community builder, and communicator to help guide us from study to action with ingenious organizing tools.
For both Dawn & Katie, The System Stinks isn't just a job. It's a labor of love as we are building spaces to have the kinds of conversations we're yearning for as political Buddhists. Your donation helps ensure we can keep our focused attention on this project, so it can get the care and nurturing it needs to be of greatest benefit to all who participate! Not unlike nuns and monks with begging bowls, we rely on the generosity of others, and we deeply cherish each contribution.
Media justice: This year we began to offer humble honorarium to every spiritual activist who publishes an original piece of media on Turning Wheel. We're proud to align our beliefs with our practices in media justice! $1,000 will help us continue this program.
The tools for communication: As we'll be hosting these conversations online and on the phone, we need the basic technical tools to be able to do that. We'll use $4,000 for Turning Wheel Media and the rest of the web site, tech support, and thank you gifts to teachers, guest speakers, and other contributors to the project.
Generosity cultivates more generosity
We treasure the opportunity to make offerings to you, our generous contributors! Check out our list of perks and gifts — including some direct-action manuals from the fabulous people at Beautiful Trouble! BPF is a nonprofit organization, so the majority of your donation is tax deductible, minus the cost of mugs and such.
The System Stinks curriculum: If you've read this far - you'll want join us in 2014 for the conversations! Everyone who donates at the $45 level or more ($30 for all the Broke Bodhisattvas out there!) will receive access to the full curriculum of The System Stinks: special, curated content, and our monthly national phone calls.
We're making the contemporary writings solicited for The System Stinks freely available online at Turning Wheel Media. We want to help folks talk about these issues, regardless of ability to pay. When you donate, you'll get special, not otherwise available content including:
- curated content from Turning Wheel Media, so you can know which articles are most relevant to read
- bite-size morsels on political theory and Buddhist teachings, selected especially for our discussion
- email-delivered study materials with provocative questions to discuss with other political Buddhists
- access to the national phone calls with prominent Buddhist teachers and political activists. It's a precious and rare opportunity to connect with other Buddhist activists to explore these big questions!
- discounted registration for the BPF gathering, once we make our fundraising goal!
Beautiful Trouble: We are also excited to connect you with Beautiful Trouble, which is chock full of decades of wisdom about creative social action. We've got autographed full-size and pocket books, plus a private webinar with a Beautiful Trouble nonviolent action trainer. When you give at this level, you also generously increase access to these direct action tools - we'll select another donor to receive the same Beautiful Trouble perks that you do!
Be a Gathering Benefactor: For you visionary types who see the potential possibilities that could flourish from a gathering of BPFers, please become one of our first sponsors for the summer 2014 gathering! Some of the early BPF meetups forged the 30-year friendships that knit together socially engaged Buddhists in these last three decades. Your support for a BPF gathering is the most direct contribution you can make to foster another 30+ years of Buddhist activism. Thank you for supporting a new generation of socially engaged Buddhist organizers!
Even if these conversations aren't quite your thing, your donation at any level will help further the dialogue about how Buddhist practices can offer not just personal liberation, but can also move us closer to collective liberation from suffering and oppression. If you have an inkling that the spiritual practices of Buddhism might be helpful to the social movements of our time, you can donate and support others in exploring the intersection of Buddhism and activism.
Other ways you can help!
Whether you're able to contribute financially right now or not, there are lots of other ways to help!
Send the campaign link to your friends, family, activist groups, and sangha
Make an announcement about it at your next group meditation, temple service, or dharma study group
Post the campaign link on Facebook or Twitter
Indiegogo's share tools make it easy to spread the word online, and the more people get on board with the project now, the richer our work will be in the new year. We can't wait to continue this transformative journey of applied Buddhism, together!
With endless gratitude for your support!!!======================
*Thanks to David Loy and Ron Purser for coining the apt McMindfulness descriptor.